Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:20 PM EST. Joe Musgrove (RHP - PIT) started June off on a positive note after a horrible May in which he posted a ERA/xERA split of 8.10/5.54 xERA with a 1.67 WHIP. After his first five starts this year, Musgrove had a 1.59 ERA after a fortunate strand rate of 83%. Musgrove pounds the zone constantly with heaters, though with enough tact to hit the edges instead of conceding the heart of the zone. His 5% walk rate from 2018 was no fluke, though his near hit-per-inning rate is a product of feeding a bit too many heaters without enough in his belt to neutralize aggressive hitters. Musgrove is still learning and he carries risk but there are some gems in that arm of his. Pair Musgrove’s slider with a changeup that earned swinging strikes at a whopping 25% clip and Musgrove has all the ammunition he needs to push his 21% strikeout rate above the 25% mark. His execution is still in question over a full year, but don't overlook the chance for Musgrove to steal the spotlight a few more times this year.
Kevin Gausman (RHP - ATL) is suddenly under some pressure to perform well with Dallas Keuchel now breathing down his neck. Somebody in that Atlanta rotation is going to lose their starting gig and Gausman is first in line. After a strong and luck-fueled April, Gausman has gone on to tally a 7.50 ERA, 1.87 WHIP and a high 28% line-drive rate over his last seven games started. Gasuman throws strikes and heat but he’s dead red far too often and his secondary pitches are below average. His 5.05 xERA reveals he’s fooling nobody. Gausman will now face on of the most potent lineups in baseball that nobody is talking about.
No team has suffered more injuries than the Pirates this year but they’re just seven games out of first and they’re starting to get some bodies back. Pay close attention to the Pirates until further notice because they’re one of the best teams in baseball (when healthy), the market thinks they’re no good and there are big profits awaiting.
The Pirates' offense is among the best in the business. From Weighted Runs Created (wRC)t to xBA to Weighted On Base Average (wOBA) to any other metric, Pittsburgh squares it up as much as any team in the league. They are also top six or seven in every offensive metric but balls are getting hit right at people. Rookie Brian Reynolds is one of the toughest outs in the game and if you haven’t seen him yet, make a point of watching because he’s that good. One through eight, the Pirates have no easy outs and one would have to go way back to the 70’s to find a Pirates team with a batting lineup as good as the one they have now. Pittsburgh is very simply too good to be losing more games than they’re winning and if you can find big odds for them to win the pennant or World Series (we found 225-1 at 5DIMES to win World Series), we would strongly recommend you place a small wager. James Taillon is due back at the start of July and Trevor Wlliiams is due back at the end of June. That gives the Pirates a great rotation after the All-Star break or just before it of Chris Archer, Taillon, Williams, Musgrove and Jordan Lyles. Batting and pitching, when healthy, the Pirates are loaded.
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Pittsburgh +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)